Characterization of paternity relationships in the mole rat Spalax ehrenbergi by microsatellite genotyping

Assaf Malik, Zeev Frenkel, Alvaro Gonzalo Hernandez, Mark Robert Band, Eviatar Nevo, Aaron Avivi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Spalax ehrenbergi is a species complex of blind subterranean rodents distributed along the east Mediterranean region. We studied genetic relationships within and between S. ehrenbergi sib families using microsatellite genotyping. The upper-bound level of multiple-paternity rate in litters was estimated using a simulation model of breeding process. Our results show that the upper bound of multiple paternity in the studied population of S. ehrenbergi is <30% (P value 2.9%), with no detected cases of multiple paternity. Our analytical model was specifically designed for a situation in which the sibling identities are known but genetic data about their parents is unavailable. The genetic similarities between groups of individuals were also tested, and it was found that the distance between breeding nests is a factor influencing the genetic similarity between litters found in the nests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-510
Number of pages10
JournalPopulation Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


  • Mating
  • Simulation
  • Spalax carmeli
  • Subterranean rodents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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